House looks to boost Philippines typhoon recovery efforts

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Republican leaders in the House next week are expected to call up legislation aimed at increasing monetary donations to the Philippines, which last year suffered one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in that region of the world.

GOP leaders will call up the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, H.R. 3771, under a suspension of House rules. The legislation would let people make tax-deductible donations through April 15 of this year to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan and still deduct those donations from their 2013 tax bill.

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Quick passage by the House and Senate next week would give people more than two weeks to contribute to the recovery efforts in the Philippines, where damages from Typhoon Haiwan were estimated to be higher than $1 billion. The storm killed thousands of people in the Philippines but also affected other areas in Asia, including China.

"Typhoon Haiyan devastated many parts of the Philippines and we should make it as easy as possible for Americans who want to assist those affected by the storm," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said in December when he proposed the bill. "I'm proud to represent a vibrant Filipino community and have witnessed an outpouring of support for storm victims at this critical time.

"This legislation I'm sponsoring will provide another incentive for Americans to donate and donate now — when their help is needed most."

The House is expected to consider the bill as early as Monday, and will need a two-thirds majority vote to pass under a suspension of the rules.